The farm is run by 3 generations of the O'Connor family.
Our stables are situated in the scenic North West of Ireland, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and Donegal Bay. Originally from O Connors Island, the family settled in the present mainland homestead in the 1950s. In 1994 the horse breeding and riding stables were added to the cattle farm.
Today there are over 50 horses and ponies that enjoy a life close to nature in the vast fields between Benbulben Mountain and the sea. The nearest beach is only a few minutes ride from the stables.
You can enjoy a fresh canter, a leisurely stroll or a splash in the sea. We offer you the unique opportunity to explore our private island on horseback.
Island View is a small family farm that has grown into an equestrian centre with "old world charm". Bantam hens, runner ducks, rabbits and kittens roam the farm and provide hours of enchantment for our young visitors. Meet Pepsi the terrier and Rossi the miniature stallion!
".....I've ridden in some spectacular places but cantering along the sand with the Atlantic on one side and the Benbulben Mountain on the other takes some beating. As we rode back across slippery rocks, watching Ursula's cows on her own private island amble down to the beach, the sun broke through the clouds. It was a magical moment." Linsey McNeill in “A green oasis for all the family".
The Island View Crew
Raymond O' Connor
Little big boss and island farmer, Raymond makes sure the farm runs smoothly. He tries to keep jeeps and tractors running, looks after the hay saving and feeding.
Raymond holds the BET (British Equestrian Tourism) Ride Leader, First Aid at Work, British Driving Society Preliminary and Road Safety certificates.
Ursula Schweiger O'Connor (nickname "Uschi")
Born in Bavaria (Germany), Ursula fell in love with the place, married Raymond and settled here. “Center” of all things Island View, be it riders, holiday guests, children, horses, hens, students.... and is in charge of running the yard and office. She looks after the training of horses and riders. Whatever it is you need, Uschi will make it happen for you – with a smile....
She is the first and so far only Centered Riding®Level 2 Instructor recognised by Sally Swift in Ireland.
Ursula holds BET (British Equestrian Tourism) Ride Leader, Centered Riding® Level 2, EFI (Equestrian Federation of Ireland) Level 1 Coach, British Horse Society Road Safety Trainer, British Horse Society and Irish Sports Council Child Protection, British Driving Society Preliminary, Road Safety and Intermediate Certificate and Occupational First Aid Certificates. Ursula is currently training towards her British Driving Society teaching qualification (preliminary teaching test). She is also Failte Ireland’s Regional Ambassador for The Wild Atlantic Way.
Our energetic, no-nonsense yard manager. Anke came for work experience but found out that she loves the Irish (way of life) and stayed. Anke works on all fronts of the business. She excels in training and schooling horses. Combines the Haflinger looks with the Irish Hunter heart!
Anke holds BET (British Equestrian Tourism) Ride Leader, British Horse Society and Irish Sports Council Child Protection and Occupational First Aid Certificates.
Budding horse farmers. Take after their parents Raymond and Uschi.
John- Alfred is an expert bug-hunter and chicken tamer with a passion for farm machinery. He enjoys Pony Club games and hunter trials.
Elisa started riding in nappies and impresses with a supple seat and confidence. She is our rising star in the horse sport arena. Ambitious young rider who loves show jumping and Pony Club eventing, she spends hours polishing her ponies to achieve “that glitzy” finish.
Raymond’s and Uschi’s niece. A charming young lady with a twinkle in her eye and a skip in her step. “Happy Feet “is her nickname – she loves dancing, be it at Irish dancing feises or on horseback in the arena. Alex takes expert care of our (VIP) customers on trail rides and short hacks.
Behind the scenes is Granny Liz. Baker of divine apple tarts and brown bread that even skinny talk show hosts can't resist! She knows the local history and folklore. Liz is the friendly receptionist and the First Lady at the heart of the family enterprise.
Klara and Daire
Our local assistants in the yard and on treks. They ride with us from when they were little and Island View is almost like a second home to them..... when they are not cruising around the globe working with horses.
They hold Occupational First Aid, BHS Riding and Road Safety and Pony Club C+ Cert.
Our current working student Laura came all the way from the mountains of Austria to the Wild Atlantic West of Ireland. Always a smile on her face she is eager to get things done and always working on improving her riding. She has invested a lot of time and effort into her four project ponies. Laura will leave us soon when her 4 month period with us is over, so ponies Maeve, Surprise, Laura and special favourite Sir are looking for a new girl to look after them and keep on training them. If you are a pony size rider, can come for a minimum of 8 weeks and not afraid of outdoor work, please feel free to apply .
We take on live-in internship students to work with the horses and to help with looking after customers. First Aid Training, experience in working with horses and riders is essential. Minimum stay is 8 weeks . A detailed job description can be found here, please fill in our job interview form if interested.